“All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” Matthew 5:37
Are you afraid of saying no?
Scripture doesn’t condemn the word no. Rather, the Bible highlights the importance of keeping your word, whether it’s a yes or a no.
Imagine if Jesus was as uncomfortable with saying no as so many of us are.
What if, instead of saying “get behind me, Satan!” to Peter, He said “you’re right, Peter. I’ll stop all this talk of being killed because it’s too dark and too uncomfortable.” What if instead of taking a rest from time to time Jesus burned his human body out with non-stop healings, miracles, and other ministries?
It wasn’t by saying yes to every opportunity, to every person in power, or to spare other’s feelings that Christ saved the world.
In order for Jesus to do much of what He came to do, He had to say no. He had to say it firmly, assuredly, and without going back on His word. When His family called Him insane and came to collect Him, Jesus said no. When Pharisees and others told Him what not to do, Jesus said no.
Perhaps most important about Jesus’ yes was that His response was to God first. Every no Jesus spoke was to preserve the yes He gave to the Lord.
I suspect many of us say yes before we ask the Lord or consider what He has asked of us. We justify it, trying to explain away our yes as selflessness, responsibility, or making the most out of every opportunity. Maybe we even justify our yes in the name of the Lord, and fear saying no to others as if every no is a selfish offense to God.
But His Word challenges the notion:
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” Galatians 1:10
As you go through your day feeling like yes is always the best answer, think about who you are saying yes to. Is it the Lord? Does your no protect your “yes, Lord?”